Tag Archives: Nell’s Enjoyment

Valley Loot headlines Larkspur Handicap

Without a doubt, Valley Loot will be the one to beat in Saturday's Larkspur Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

Without a doubt, Valley Loot will be the one to beat in Saturday's Larkspur Handicap at Pinnacle Race Course.

In last year’s race to decide Michigan’s top older female, it was Valley Loot and everyone else.

Valley Loot will take her first step toward defending that title this Saturday when she makes her first start of the year at Pinnacle Race Course in the $50,000 Larkspur Handicap.

A field of nine will enter the gates for the six furlong race, including four former Sire Stakes winners. 

The favorite will almost certainly be 2008 Michigan Horse of the Year Valley Loot. The five-year-old Demaloot Demashoot mare won last year’s installment of the Larkspur by 2 3/4 lengths and enters the race off a front-running victory in the June 16 Golden Sylvia Stakes at Mountaineer Race Track and Casino. Federico Mata will get the assignment in the saddle for owner Lisa Campbell and trainer Ronnie Allen, Sr.. Not surprisingly, Valley Loot is the field’s highweight.

The second half of the Campbell/Allen contingent is fellow Sire Stakes winner Wave Pool. The four-year-old Sea Legs filly won the three-year-old female division of last year’s Sire Stakes en route to earning the crop’s top honors. Wave Pool comes off a second-place finish in an allowance race at Pinnacle on June 12. Ivan Gonzalez will take the irons.

A two-time Sire Stakes winner and top horse in her division in 2006 and ’07, Nell’s Enjoyment will look to get her stakes career back on track this Saturday. The six-year-old Quiet Enjoyment mare was well beaten in her three tries in stakes company in 2008, but turned things around in her last start of the year at Pinnacle, closing from the clouds to win a stakes-caliber allowance race against the likes of fellow Larkspur entrants Wave Pool, Dublin Dutchess and Silent Sunset. She enters off a fifth place finish in a June 1 allowance race at Indiana Downs. Nell’s Enjoyment is owned and trained by Shane Spiess and will be ridden by Ricardo Barrios.

Also entered is the only horse to beat Valley Loot in a Sire Stakes race, Dublin Dutchess. The five-year-old Native Factor mare defeated Valley Loot during the 2006 installment of the two-year-old division’s Sire Stakes at Great Lakes Downs. Dublin Dutchess ran second to Valley Loot in last year’s Larkspur. Owned by Mast Thoroughbreds, LLC and trained by Bob Gorham, Dublin Dutchess will have the services of Augusto Marin in the saddle.  

Here is a list of the entries for Saturday’s Larkspur Handicap…

#. Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Odds
1. Yawm Estoora / A.O. Stanley / R. P. Inman / 10-1
2. Nell’s Enjoyment / R Barrios / S. M. Spiess / 15-1
3. Tillie The Hunn / G. Laurente / L. R. Uelmen / 20-1
4. She Could Be Good / J. Skerrett / R. M. Gorham / 5-1
5. Wave Pool / I. R. Gonzalez / R. D. Allen, Sr / 8-1
6. Dublin Dutchess / A. A. Marin / R. M. Gorham / 12-1
7. Silent Sunset / G. W. Mayhew / J. A. Lewis / 25-1
8. Candy Cane / J. J. Delgado / J. C. Rupert / 3-1
9. Valley Loot / F. Mata / R. D. Allen, Sr. / 6-5


Filed under Pinnacle Race Course, Stakes Races

One year later…

Jockey Jareth Loveberry waits for his mount in the Great Lakes Downs paddock on October 10, 2007.

Jockey Jareth Loveberry waits for his mount in the Great Lakes Downs paddock on October 10, 2007.

A year ago today, the horses crossed the wire for the last time at Great Lakes Downs in Muskegon.

With that in mind, I figured this would be an ideal time to debut a new feature to the Claimer where I look back at some of the moments I have documented in my travels over the years. 

As you may or may not know, I have been blogging for at least five years; mostly over Livejournal. Over that span, I recorded several memorable journeys to Great Lakes Downs – sometimes to watch our horse Royal Charley, sometimes just to go to the races. Every once in a while I will tell a few tales based mostly on those posts. Perhaps they will bring back a few memories of GLD or give those who never got the chance to visit the track an opportunity to see what they missed. Either way, I hope you enjoy my stories.

And now, without further ado, gather ’round kids, it’s story time!

Continue reading


Filed under Great Lakes Downs, Story Time

Mr. Conclusive remains undefeated on Michigan Juvenile Saturday

Two-year-old Flint shows a little fire in the paddock before the Juvenile Fillies Futurity.

Two-year-old Flint shows a little fire in the paddock before the Michigan Fillies Futurity.

The races for Michigan Horse of the Year in the two juvenile divisions took another step toward sorting themselves out on Saturday following the Michigan Futurities at Pinnacle Race Course.

Also on the card Saturday was a $20,000 allowance race, pitting several competitors from this year’s Sire Stakes against each other for one more start in their home state.

With such a big day of racing on the card, I decided to head down to Pinnacle for one last day at the races before Sunday’s final date of the meet. I left the grounds with about $50 more than I came in with, so I would consider the day a rousing success.

Saturday was also one of Pinnacle’s giveaway days, with the free item being a newspaper-sponsored poster of the racetrack’s jockeys. In the patio area, said jockeys were made available to sign the posters. From what I saw, they were far from swamped with autograph requests, but I am glad to see Pinnacle trying to get the fans connected with the people on the track. At the moment, none of the faces on the poster have enough drawing power to make the promotion attract many more fans than an average Saturday afternoon (the people at the door were left with stacks of leftover posters), but perhaps after a few years, after a few of the jockeys get some inches in the local newspapers (and NOT for fixing races, guilty or not), the general public may single out some fan favorites. Either way, It is good to see Pinnacle trying things to draw people in.

Alright, less yappin’ more recappin’…
Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Pictures, Pinnacle Race Course, Stakes Races